Label Love #6: Days Of Being Wild
Originally set up as a vehicle for creators Franz Kirmann and Jerome 'Catalepsia' Bazzanella to release their own music, Days Of Being Wild has now blossomed into a well respected purveyor of top quality, edgy dance music as well as being the label for a number of diverse techno artists. In the next instalment of our Label Love series features we had a chat with Franz and Jerome for a delve inside the brains behind the label and its ethos.
How did Days Of Being Wild get started and what is the ethos behind the label?
Franz: Jrome and I met in London in 2010, I had created a label called Photogram that was quite electronica / experimental and Jrome was doing Mtis. We did a split 12" between our two labels and then decided to actually create a new label that we would both run. It was a natural thing really, we just got on and found that we liked the same music, came from the same world of post-punk, new wave, indie as well as dance music. I think we both wanted to do something really focused on quality and very independent, not driven by money, but purely by the will to put out music that turns us on.
What are your most and least favourite things about running your own label?
Franz: What I like is the freedom to put out a track whenever we want! To have an audience for what we do and to be able to move fast, not to have to convince anybody really. The downside is that it comes with a lot of admin, which means less time to be creative with our own music. I'm signed to a German label with my project 'Piano Interrupted', and it's nice to just be the artist sometimes!
Jerome: I think that after several years of hard work it's nice to see people / artists that we really respect playing / charting our music. The downside is fighting with the admin, the promo, trying to promote us without losing too much integrity…
Who or what was your biggest inspiration for taking things into your own hands?
Franz: The fact that I released a couple of things on some indie labels before and it was quite an underwhelming experience. Also a lot of producers / musicians at the time were starting to do it themselves and it felt right to do it myself.
Jerome: D.I.Y. I have must have been a punk in a previous life 😉
How and where do you find most of the music for Days of Being Wild?
Franz: It's sent to us! Sometimes we get a recommendation. Kiwi was sent to us by Daniel Avery and Pink Skull was recommended by James of Throne Of Blood. We get a lot of music sent to us. We have Sam dealing with that now and he's doing a great job!
Jerome: Yes praises goes to Sam (From Club Bizarre) for his amazing job. I have only positive feedback's from our artists and business partners!
What would be the one track youd most love to release from throughout recorded musical history?
Franz: Blue Monday ?
Jerome: " A Forest" or maybe "Leave Them All Behind" from Ride.
Is there any link between your name and the name of Wong Kar-Wai's 1990 film? If not, where did you come up with your title?
Franz: Yes, he's one of my all time favourite directors! I used to study film and I met him once. Days Of Being Wild is one of his most beautiful films. I'm also quite a nostalgic person And I think it's quite funny as Jrome and I are older and we both have kids. So it seemed a good name for us. Sam is now balancing the age thing! I think he's only 24.
Jerome: Yep, the new generation is rising with many super exciting newcomers!
What are your thoughts on the current state of independent records? Do you believe that there are enough opportunities available for people to be successful?
Franz: I think it's really hard to be successful now and keep your integrity. If successful means making a decent living off of your own music, then it's very difficult. I find the mainstream industry and the so-called 'big indies' really depressing. There's nothing exciting happening there. All I hear that turns me on is either released on a small label and will never be that "successful" or it's old! Maybe I'm just an old fart now!
Jerome: Franz summarised it perfectly. Let's say it's an expensive hobby. When was the last time you heard something exciting on the radio?
What's your stance on digital vs vinyl?
Franz: We like vinyl. We do press some sometimes. It makes a release special, makes you feel like you care more about the music you put out. But it costs a lot of money and we rarely make it back. And distributors are really rubbish most of the time and don't pay you or just don't do the promotional work they should do. Digital is great for the obvious financial reason and the distribution opportunities. But there is so much music out now on just digital format so you really have to work hard to stand out. And vinyl helps to stand out, you come across as a much more serious label if you do vinyl aside of digital, even if it's only one release a year.
What do you think is the most striking feature of the music that you release? Are there any unifying trends?
Franz: When I look back I find the unifying trend is that it's often quite dark! It can be quite lo-fi and rough as well.
Why did you decide to start releasing a podcast? What can people be expecting to hear on it?
Franz: A podcast is a good way to have your name out there without having a new record out. It's also a way to sometimes showcase future releases and get some early buzz. And we find that people are asking for mixes, it's free music after all! It's a nice gesture in the end, you give free music to your followers and at the same time you promote your label.
Sam : Jrme once said something like: "theres no chart as good as a podcast". We never really talked about a label podcast and were doing some on our own but recently, a blog asked the label for one and Katzele asked us to release one for him. I guess a kind of 'series' is born, not planned on a regular basis though. As for the expectations, only guests can answer that.
How do you fund your label? Are label parties an integral part of keeping the whole thing afloat or do you do it purely through sales?
Franz: Sales are not enough, parties are not enough yet (we have just done our first proper one last week) so it's all of that plus our own money. But we don't have lots of overhead. We work from home!
Jerome: As I said earlier it's an expensive hobby, but thanks to our fans and followers the label is getting more and more attention and it makes things a little bit easier.
What lies ahead for Days of Being Wild?
Franz: Lots of exciting releases coming up and we want to do more parties as well. We also have our own productions. Jrome has some new Catalepsia material that's really exciting, Sam as well with Club Bizarre and I'm working on new Hotel International tracks and edits.
Sam : Weve got great music to release from now till roughly the end of June. The next three are from Maxime Iko (were releasing remixes from his previous EP), Passarella Death Squad, Heretic. Then there is Najem Sworb's album, and releases from Damon Jee, Catalepsia, Club Bizarre, Gin Sling will follow. Also the debut EP of Id!r whos definitely one to watch, Arrow To The Sky, Italo Brutalo all coming with great collaborations and remixes.
Jerome: And yes, more parties hopefully. I want to take our artists on the road much more. They really deserve more attention and praise!!!
Where next for the independent music industry?
Franz: I don't know. I can't see it changing much in the near future. I think with production costs being cheaper and distribution easier with digital, we will still be subjected to the same huge amount of music. I reckon now it's the listener that has to work harder to sort out the good from the bad.
Describe the label in:
Franz: Free, Edgy, Open minded, DIY, Amazing!
For more information on the mighty fine Days Of Being Wild, check their facebook